Make sure your Rehab Centre in SA understands Addiction | Stepaway Blog
Making Better Life ChoicesMaking Better Life Choices
Hope - Addiction TreatmentBuilding Hope Together
Sardina Bay BeachLearning new coping skills
Mountain ClimbingGrow Through What You Go Through


Stepaway News Blog

Make sure your Rehab Centre in SA understands Addiction

Facts about Addiction and Recovery

Addiction is a primary disease with the associated factorial relationships: genetic, bio-physiological and environmental.


  • Substance abuse and addiction may be progressive and can be fatal. The collective impact physically, emotionally and socially often contributes to premature death.
  • Substance addiction is a phenomenon associated with a common constellation of characteristics, which place the individual at a disadvantage and outside of the mainstream functioning.
  • Impaired control as evidenced by an inability to limit the amount of substances consumed, the time frame during which an episode/binge takes place, or heeds the consequences of use.
  • Pre-occupation with obtaining and using substances. It becomes the primary object. The result is a disengagement from all other life concerns.
  • Experience of numerous adverse consequences associated with substance use: physical health, psychological functioning, inter-personal functioning, occupational functioning, legal problems, financial problems and spiritual problems.
  • Epic losses cause by addicted behaviours – family, friends, work, assets.
  • Denial of the significance of all of the above mentioned events and issues.

Individuals who struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism did not start out with that as a goal. It all started with a desire to relax, escape, emotional stress, the need to belong, or engage in experimentation.

Some theories of addiction may suggest a hereditary predisposition to the disease of substance dependency, referred to as disease concept.

Addiction Relapse & Recovery

One of the factors inherent in disease concept is the acknowledgement that addiction is a disease of relapse.

An individual may have accepted and entered addiction treatment, been working with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) whilst making the appropriate changes, and been practicing abstinence when he/she experiences a relapse.

For those that subscribe to the disease concept, relapse is always a possibility with any chronic disease and is a confirmation of the need for total abstinence.

Others believe that relapse is associated with addiction recovery ambivalence or is part of the learning process of change.

Just as drug addiction is a developmental progression, the process of addiction recovery is also a progression.

Recovery is about learning, change, and living an improved quality of life.

Once abstinence has been well established, change must continue to occur if the gains acquired are to be sustained.

It is imperative that coping strategies are developed or strengthened to replace the prior substance use management of life stressors.

Addiction recovery is not an uneventful linear path. Instead, it is generally fraught with many struggles as an individual regains control over his or her life and works through issues created or aggravated by addiction.

Therefore, an integral part of treatment is relapse prevention, which attempts to consider all of the difficulties that someone may experience that could jeopardise his/her addiction recovery process.

Addiction recovery aftercare is a decrease in program intensity and is a necessary phase of treatment in which there is a continuity and reinforcement of skill development.

Marlatt and Gordon (1985) assert that the addiction relapse process begins with a lifestyle imbalance, which manifests itself as overwhelming stress in an individual’s life. The most vulnerable to stress are those lacking in adequate coping skills, self-efficacy, and social support.

In order to prevent relapse, an individual also needs to be able to identify the possible causes of relapse, typical relapse warning signs, ways to cope with relapse and thoughts of using, cues that trigger craving to use, social pressure to use, social interactions network, lifestyle issues, and how to deal with setbacks and actual relapse.

Step Away | Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centre South Africa

Our holistic approach to addiction enables us to address each influencing factor, helping you seek relief and recovery by improving the health of your mind, body and spirit.

For more information please contact us.




Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.


Get the latest updates in your email box automatically.